NY High Court upholds Town of Dryden's fracking ban
This is great news (for New York):
Monday, June 30, New York State’s highest court handed the town of Dryden a victory in its precedent-setting case versus Norse Energy Co., in which the gas and oil industry challenged Dryden’s zoning law banning heavy industry within the borders of the town. The case pitted this upstate town of 6000 residents’ right to zone out certain types of business against the gas exploration companies’ argument that only the Department of Environmental Conservation could issue permits. At stake were what Norse Energy deemed a $4 million investment in gas drilling leases in the town of Dryden.
The Court upheld, as well, a zoning law in Middlefield, NY, deciding that towns can use local zoning laws to ban heavy industry, including oil and gas operations, within municipal borders.
“Today the Court stood with the people of Dryden and the people of New York to protect their right to self determination. It is clear that people, not corporations, have the right to decide how their community develops,” said Dryden Deputy Supervisor Jason Leifer. “This would not have been possible without the hard work of many of my friends and neighbors and our lawyers Deborah Goldberg of Earthjustice and Mahlon Perkins. Today's ruling shows all of America that a committed group of citizens and public officials can stand together against fearful odds and successfully defend their homes, their way of life, and the environment against those who would harm them all in the name of profit. "
“Heavy industry has never been allowed in our small farming town and three years ago, we decided that fracking was no exception. The oil and gas industry tried to bully us into backing down, but we took our fight all the way to New York’s highest court. And today we won,” added Dryden Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner. “I hope our victory serves as an inspiration to people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, California and elsewhere who are also trying to do what’s right for their own communities.”
Sometimes, the good guys win!
I just wish the same principle could be extended to landfills in the state of Maine. Perhaps it can!